The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP,
The Government has repeatedly assured us that GM crops will not be grown commercially in the UK until the current farm-scale trials are completed, but now it appears to have no intention of stopping the "accidental" commercial growing of GM crops over vast swathes of the British countryside. This is grossly unjust and a betrayal of public trust in the Government. The Government has recently said that it intends to take no legal action against Advanta Seeds UK, the company which sold the contaminated seeds. This is unacceptable. The farmers who have unknowingly planted GM-contaminated oilseed rape will probably be unable to sell their crops and will suffer as a consequence. Justice demands that they should be compensated for this. The French and Swedish governments have declared that these crops will be destroyed in their countries. Why not here too?
Although the plants in the GM-contaminated oilseed rape crops are mostly sterile, cross-pollination with other oilseed rape and self-seeding elsewhere is bound to occur. The cross-pollination between conventional and GM oilseed rape in Canada, which has led to this contamination, shows the inadequacy of the buffer zones around the UK crop trials. Cross-pollination between GM trial crops and conventional crops is now proven to be inevitable.
The current media coverage of this issue reflects widespread public anger at the Government's secrecy about the "accidental" planting of contaminated seeds, its complacency about the consequences for British farming and the environment, and arrogance towards the public who are rightly concerned about the inherent dangers of GM farming and food.
I urge the Government to instruct farmers to dig up and destroy all the contaminated oilseed rape crops and to guarantee full compensation to those farmers. It is also imperative that the Government calls an immediate halt to the current field trials of GM oilseed rape and has the existing plantings removed and destroyed.